Flaxseed & Hemp Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello! This blog post is about two things.
First thing: the recipe to a healthy and delicious cookie!
Second thing: some of the underlying causes of prementsrual syndrome and a few tips of what you can do to reduce symptoms.

We've all experienced PMS. You're bloated, your boobies are sensitive, you're emotional, and your stomach is a bottomless pit which makes you eat and eat and eat.. Then that makes you MORE bloated. THEN that makes you feel like a beached whale. THEN your skin breaks out and the cramps start....  That used to be me.

But the good news is that you don't always have to suffer from PMS and I rarely have terrible symptoms anymore. Symptoms of PMS are usually stronger when there is an imbalance somewhere in the body. Each month, a woman's hormonal cycle is a unpredictable cycle of change. Some fluctuation is totally normal. But when the ups and downs become severe or painful, or when there is a hormonal imbalance (often an excess of estrogen or deficiency in progesterone), the result is water retention, cramps, headache, irritability, fatigue, and/or inflammation.

Some root causes of PMS are: 

Poor diet/nutritional deficiencies
Hormonal imbalances
Food allergies
Stress
Depression
Adrenal/thyroid problems
Poor liver function
Environmental toxins (ex. pesticides/herbicides that contribute to hormonal disturbances)

Some ways to prevent or reduce symptoms of PMS:

As my favourite whole food advocate, Michael Pollan says: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Plants help the body detoxify and cleanse excess estrogen, thus decreasing ones susceptibility to PMS. A wholesome diet can significantly increase your general health and overall energy too, so it's a win win when you might be feeling fatigued from PMS.

Exercise. Exercising relieves cramps because it helps release beta-endorphins, which are internal opioids (basically human morphine). It helps to relieve pain and helps to burn prostaglandins (chemicals released during menstruation that cause muscle contractions) much faster.
The best form of exercise to reduce PMS is aerobic exercise. Do something that gets your heart rate up, like biking, running or even going for a walk. I do yoga and bike often; and I notice that the more physically active I am throughout the month and closer to my monthly cycle, the less symptoms of PMS I have.

Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is the answer to everything.
I suggest aiming to drink 1L of water per 50 lbs of body weight. This might sound like a lot, but if doing something as simple as drinking alkaline water can help to reduce inflammation and fatigue, then why not, right? Add citrus fruits and herbs like mint or basil to flavour it up! Herbal tea is another option, too.

Avoid processed sugar. Sugar is the devil.
Sugar causes inflammation in the body, murders your immune system, and puts your mood and blood sugar levels on a roller coaster. Go for natural sugars to satisfy your cravings such as fruit or even using honey or maple syrup as sweeteners. If you are going to eat sugar, make sure to consume fat or protein alongside it so your blood sugar doesn't go out of whack!

Why I call this recipe the PMS cookie:

Flaxseeds: packed with omega 3's which reduce inflammation and promotes healthy cell membranes. Flaxseeds also contain lignins which block excess estrogen which can sometimes contribute to PMS. Flax is high in fibre which helps makes your poo more solid.
A happy poo, means a happy you.

Hempseeds: Hemp seeds contain over 30% fat. They are rich in omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid), omega 6 (linolenic acid), and GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). All of these fats help reduce inflammation and aid in regulating hormone production.

Chocolate: Chocolate cures everything.
Sometimes, chocolate can indicate that your body is actually craving minerals; more specifically magnesium. I usually have a couple pieces of the darkest chocolate I can find (85% is my fave) and that usually satiates my craving.


Flaxseed & Hemp Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 C flaxseed powder 
1/4 C hempseeds
1 C almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 bakins soda
1/2 tsp mineral salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs
1/4 C + 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 C coconut oil or ghee
1/3 C mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flaxseed powder, hempseeds, almond flour, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl.

In separate bowl, mix together banana, eggs, maple syrup, and coconut oil.

Combine ingredients together and fold in chocolate chips.

The dough will be very sticky. Scoop into 1tbsp balls and drop onto cookie sheet.
Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the cookie is slightly firm to touch and the bottoms are slightly caramelized.

Enjoy!

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